Mar 21, 2017 01:03 PM EDT
NASA and SpaceX joined forces in order to find the best landing spots on Mars. This is to pave the way for the safe touchdown of the Red Dragon spacecraft on Mars a few years from now.
The two agencies had been studying images of the surface of Mars taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter was launched in 2005 and has been orbiting the red planet for around 11 years. It was able to send back to earth photos of the red planet. Through these images, NASA and SpaceX were able to pin point the best landing spots on Mars.
Several features were specified so that the landing areas could easily support life. The most important feature of the landing area should be having huge amount of ice within reach. Another is that it should be close to the Equator. Elevation should be low and temperature should be favorable, according to Tech Crunch.
Using these criteria as bases of their choice, NASA and SpaceX were able to identify four locations in Mars where the Red Dragon spacecraft could touch down safely.
These areas were named Phlegra Montes, Deuteronilus Mensae, Utopia Planitia and Arcadia Planitia. The areas were observed to have few rocks or none at all and were shaped like polygons. The areas could be used for human settlements in the future. The company had been aiming to send the Red Dragon spacecraft to other parts of Mars to check more possibilities, according to Space News.
NASA and SpaceX agency visualized Red Dragon spacecrafts flying to different parts of Mars to serve the company's clients. First and foremost, Elon Musk's company does business anywhere around the world and soon, in the universe.
The Red Dragon is big enough to take huge amounts of payload for the scientists who would work in the laboratories within the planet. People who can afford space travel would also be transported by Red Dragon spacecraft to Mars.